Day 8 – January 8
A few months ago I went to an estate sale and found two interesting looking sewing gadgets. I’d seen them in sewing books before, but never paid much attention to what they were for since I didn’t own either of them. They were cheap (less than $5), and I love to sew, so I bought them with the intention of learning what they were for and how to use them. Yesterday presented me with this opportunity.
First up, the clapper. Isn’t that a funny name for a sewing tool? I’m not sure why it’s called that . .. . you don’t really do any clapping with it. It’s a oblong piece of hardwood that you use to press seams in bulky fabric. (Sorry for the blurriness. Click on the pic for a clearer image.)
It’s quite simple to use. Here’s my method. Press your seam open as best as you can. Flip your fabric over and give it a goodly amount of steam from the right side. Immediately set the clapper over the seam and press down firmly until the fabric has cooled. It will probably take somewhere between 15 and 30 seconds. Once you lift the clapper, you’ll have a lovely, pressed and crisp seam. The idea behind the clapper is that the hardwood absorbs the moisture and heat from the fabric and the pressure you are applied sets the seam. Pretty nifty, eh?
The bottom portion is the clapper and the top is the point presser. Ever wonder how to get crisp edges in collars and other tight little corners? This is your tool. Just use it like an ironing board. The sharp point will push out the corner and you can hit it with an iron, and voila!
So the next time you have bulky fabric, or fabric that refuses to press well, grab your clapper and have at it.